US sales. Pfizer's Lipitor, which garnered the top spot in global pharmaceutical sales, also ranks first among US products (see Table
III). Four other products—Nexium, Advair, Aranesp, and Enbrel—also ranked in the top 10 in both global and US pharmaceutical
sales, according to IMS Health.
Table III: Top 10 products by US sales.*
Despite declining sales resulting from generic competition, Merck & Co.'s Zocor still ranked among the top 10 selling products
in the United States, although US sales declined from $4.4 billion in 2005 to $3.1 billion in 2006. TAP Pharmaceutical Products's
Prevacid also made the top 10 US product rankings despite a sales decline from $3.8 billion in 2005 to $3.5 billion in 2006.
And three products—Amgen's "Epogen," AstraZeneca's "Seroquel," and Merck & Co.'s "Singulair"—made the top 10 in USrankings
but not globally in 2006.
US prescription volumes. Pfizer's Lipitor kept its top position on a volume basis (number of prescriptions dispensed) in the United States with 74
million prescriptions in 2006 (see Table IV). Hydrocodone–acetaminophen (ranked second), escitalopram (ranked ninth), and
albuterol (ranked 10th) also kept their rankings in 2006.
Table IV: Top 10 products by US prescription volume.*
But other products' positions changed. AstraZeneca's Nexium entered the top 10 in 2006 with 30.4 million prescriptions dispensed
in the United States. The antibiotic amoxicillin rose from eighth place in 2005 to fifth place in 2006 with 34.2 million prescriptions.
The amount of prescriptions for "Synthroid" fell to 30.9 million last year, a roughly 15% decline since 2005 (see Table IV).
Table V: The top 50 by revenue (rankings 1–10)
Pharmaceutical Executive's "PharmExec 50" (see Table V), an annual ranking of sales revenues and research and development (R&D) investment of the
top 50 pharmaceutical companies, reveals key trends. The top seven spots based on global pharmaceutical sales, secured respectively
by Pfizer, GSK, Sanofi-Aventis, Novartis, AstraZeneca, J&J, and Merck & Co., remained the same in 2006. BMS, however, fell
out of the top 10, moving from ninth in 2005 to eleventh in 2006. Roche moved to eighth in 2006 from twelfth in 2005 (1).
Table V: The top 50 by revenue (rankings 11–20)